Venus Pompeiana Project

The Roman goddess Venus was the patron deity of the city of Pompeii, and her temple occupied a prominent location at the southern edge of the site, overlooking the river plain below. The Venus Pompeiana Project is a collaboration between the University of Missouri-Columbia and Mount Allison University, under the auspices of the Pompeii Archaeological Park, to resume study of the Sanctuary of Venus at Pompeii.  Marcello Mogetta and Ilaria Battiloro are the co-directors of the project, which aims to clarify the results of past excavations (most recently) between 2004 and 2007, which were only partially published, and to follow up on questions raised by that work.  The pilot season, in July 2017, sought to identify the extent and organization of the first sanctuary, and providing greater resolution on its date.

Marcello Mogetta (PhD, Michigan) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Ancient Mediterranean Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His research focuses especially on first millennium BCE Italy, and combines formal architectural study, stratigraphic and archaeometric analysis in the field and lab, and digital techniques of recording and visualization of ancient remains and artifacts. He conducts fieldwork at Pompeii and Gabii to elucidate the nature and structure of Italian urbanism in its broader Mediterranean context, and the implications of Rome’s expansion on the development of élite architectural forms. He is particularly interested in the complex and ambiguous relationship between the formation of a distinctive Roman material and visual culture, the influence of Greek tradition, and the agency of non-Roman patrons and builders. 

The co-directors of the Venus Pompeiana Project, Ilaria Battiloro (right) and Marcello Mogetta (in the hard hat), meet with Prof. Massimo Osanna, the director of the Archaeological Park, and Alberto Bonisoli, the new Italian Minister of Culture.